“She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.”
As we've carefully examined the character of a Proverbs 31 woman thus far (verses 10-15), we can confidently assess that a biblically submissive wife is not what the world would like to make her out to be. She is not feeble, she is not ignorant, she is not a fool, nor is she uneducated and unfamiliar with hard work and tumultuous trials.
A Proverbs 31 woman does not live in Disney World...and she’s wise enough to know it.
Like a vineyard, she bears much fruit to testify to the awesome work of her Creator. A vineyard that is most productive is planted on mountains, hills or any land area in which the ground slopes. The most productive and healthy vineyards are the ones that are planted on slopes that face the South for greater sun exposure. As a matter of fact, the type of land that produces the best grapes is one that is covered with ordinary, marginal soil, that agriculturist who grow other produce, would never use.
"Due to the porosity of the soil and great drainage the vine roots dig deeply in search of water and minerals which bring complexity to this wine. As the old saying goes 'the worse the soil the better the wine.' "
The similarities between the rib of man and a vineyard are fascinating. Both a vineyard and a rib are strong and hearty, yet delicate at the same time. Grapes grow better on a hillside (where most other produce cannot thrive) and thrives in ordinary soil. It is strong, hearty and unusual in that it appears to be quite low maintenance....as far as choosing the land in which it is planted. But once it's planted, it needs some Tender Loving Care to survive. It needs to be covered when the winter comes, it needs to be pruned regularly so that it will produce large, beautiful grapes and it needs a trellis to hold it up, because its branches are so delicate, it can't hold the weight of the hearty fruit it bears.
The analogies that come to mind regarding the similarities between the grapes in a vineyard and a Proverbs 31, biblically submission wife are:
- She is special. She grows and blossoms under conditions that would crumble other women (Proverbs 31:29).
- She doesn't need special "soil" (things from this world, i.e., expensive jewelry, clothes, or other indulgences), she only requires lots of exposure to the Son (Ps 119:33-40).
- She grows on a hillside— the steeper the better. This enables her to "drain" any excess and unneeded "water" weight so that she is not saturated by the burdens of this world, which would drown her and hinder her growth (Heb 12:1-2).
- Because the soil she’s planted in is very porous, she has to dig deep into her Foundation (Christ Jesus) so her roots will be firm and strong (Jn 15:4-5).
- To produce healthy and robust fruit, she MUST be pruned regularly so her leaves (outward beauty and desires of the flesh) do not steal all the nutrients necessary in order for her to bear much fruit in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Col 1:9-10).
- Although her "roots" are strong (because they are founded in Jesus), her God created her to still require a trellis (her husband) to stand tall and hold up her delicate branches so that her fruit is not trampled on, dirtied or injured in any way (1 Peter 3:7).
- And finally, as the old saying goes for grapes, so it goes for a biblically submissive woman: "the worse the soil” (difficult times), the better the fruit she bears (Ps 126:5-6)!
Now let's investigate what else Proverbs 31:16 says about a biblically submissive woman. Verse 16 states that she knows how to consider a field, buy it and with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
The word “consider” means to carefully and thoughtfully contemplate what one is doing. A biblically submissive woman living in today's world would consider what she devotes her time to before she signs herself up for any particular commitment. Here are some of the things she might consider:
- Will this commitment bring honor to God or bring honor to me?
- Have I already consulted with my husband and gone to seek his counsel?
- Have I given this commitment proper time in prayer?
- Do I have enough funds and/or time to engage in this commitment?
- Am I willing to fulfill the requirements of this commitment as unto the Lord and not unto man?
- Will it bring a great benefit to my household or add unnecessary burdens?
She also chooses to disengage in any affairs that would cause her family to go into debt, but instead only makes purchases from the "fruit of her own hands" which is the funds she has already earned from previous work she has performed, or funds that have been allotted to her by her husband (as is my case, since I do not work outside of the home, nor own my own business).
In closing, it is obvious that a biblically submissive woman is not a boring, mundane, unkempt, or mousy woman. To put it simply, she is quite smart and classy!
Biblical Perspective, Practically Applied:
- Memorize, meditate on and study today's Scripture verse as well as: Proverbs 19:14, 21; Psalm 116:12-14; and James 4:17. I know this sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t. Just think of how many commercial jingles and movie lines, etc. you know. Trust me, they are vaster than the six verses of God’s Living Word you get to memorize, meditate and study over the next two weeks. Besides, remember, it’s only by hiding God’s Word in our hearts that we won’t indulge in self-gratification and/or easily succumb to the devil’s lies, which leads us to do the one thing we most despise—sin against our First Love, Jesus Christ the Lord (Ps 119:11-16).
- Ask your husband and kids to "quiz" you on your Scripture memorization. And if you’re so led, ask (not demand) them to join you.